A brilliant conference

Jackie.Hall | November 26, 2012

A couple of weeks ago Nishad and I presented a paper (and a poster) on Thetford and the 3-D scanning at the 17th ‘Cultural Heritage and New Technologies’ conference, held in Vienna. Being in Vienna is clearly a good point, but the conference was so much more. It was one of the friendliest I have ever attended, with plenty of opportunities for a real exchange of ideas between participants, as well as an opportunity to catch up with techniques and methodology. The buildings archaeology sessions were of particular interest to me. Many of the projects presented were using 3-D scanning combined with photography to virtually – and realistically – recreate not just whole buildings but, in some cases, entire historic urban landscapes. Although some work like this is taking place in Britain, there seems to be a gulf between what’s happening here and what’s happening in the rest of Europe (but I may change my mind after attending our next event!). Some of this may be down to funding (though much of the work was carried out by heroic PhD students) and some down to the philosophy behind the work. Of course, just as with our project, having a high tech method isn’t a substitute for interesting research questions or for actually thinking about the buildings, excavations etc. Few at this conference made that error, though. To make things even better, Nishad and I even won the poster competition, to our equal astonishment and delight!

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